Police provide updates Wednesday on shooting outside Richfield school
New details have been released regarding a shooting outside of the South Education Center in Richfield on Tuesday.
The shooting, which happened around 12 p.m. outside the South Education Center – a special education and alternative learning school – resulted in one student dying and another being hospitalized.
During a news conference held just after 11 a.m. Wednesday, Police Chief Jay Henthorne said the deceased victim was 15 years old, but did not provide the victim’s name. Friends and family identified the student killed as sophomore Jahmari Rice.
The other victim who was hospitalized and remains in critical condition was identified as being 17 years old. A third person, identified as being 19 years old, was also reported to have minor injuries.
In addition, police identified the two suspects who were arrested Tuesday after they left the scene immediately after the shooting, according to investigators. Chief Henthorne identified the suspects as 18-year-old Fernando Valdez-Alvarez, of Minneapolis, and 19-year-old Alfredo Rosario Solis, adding they are being held at the Hennepin County Jail.
According to Henthorne, an altercation that was possibly related to a previous incident happened near the school’s entrance. He went on to say that during the altercation, a gun was produced and the victims were shot.
Although the case is still being reviewed, formal charges could come as soon as Thursday afternoon.
Intermediate District 287 superintendent Sandy Lewandowski said the district will be working with school staff Wednesday and Thursday, adding they are overwhelmed and grateful for all of the support being given from across the community and state.
“No school community should ever have to go through what we went through yesterday,” said Lewandowski.
Richfield Mayor Maria Gonzalez also spoke at Wednesday’s news conference, saying it has been a “challenging” 24 hours for the entire Richfield community.
Gonzalez also said the community lost a “beautiful young leader,” saying “he loved football and being with friends.” She went on to say the victim in critical condition is “another young leader.”
The mayor also said school staff met with Gov. Tim Walz Wednesday morning.
Overnight, friends and family held a vigil for the shooting victims.
“We’re losing our children, that’s a scary thing being a mother myself, I can’t imagine what the family is going through at this point,” family friend Tiffany Walker said.
Investigators told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS officers and staff were at the scene just after 12 p.m. Tuesday where two students had been shot on the sidewalk, near the school’s entrance.
Both students were sent to Hennepin County Medical Center right away.
5 EYEWITNESS NEWS has learned that law enforcement executed two search warrants in Minneapolis and recovered a gun.
Meanwhile, school district leaders urged any families or staff members who need help through this time to reach out, they will be offering support.
South Education Center will be closed at least through Thursday. District officials say Friday will be a day of healing and they’ll have mental health support available.
5 EYEWITNESS NEWS will continue to update this article as investigation updates are provided.